A happy couple’s life becomes an episode from The Twilight Zone as a stray cat with a strange and scary behaviour problem invades a once-peaceful household.
“MOVE, human! I’m watching TV!” I was reminded, once again, who exactly makes the rules in our house. It used to be a mutual task between me and my husband Al — until the dreaded return of the antichrist that happened to arrive on our doorstep last year. I’d heard talk of it but it had never entered my mind that the Apocalypse would arrive in the form of a tiny, chocolate colored Siamese cat.
In the event our mutilated and decomposing corpses should be discovered in our home one day after missing for some time, let this story be a record of what probably happened to two innocent people…..two innocent people who worked hard, minded their own business and loved their barnyard animals. And never turned away a stray….
Mocha (as we named her) aka the Siamese devil, was a gift from our daughter — who has since been removed from our wills. The cat had been dropped at her house and as she lived with two aggressive African bush cats, it wasn’t convenient for her to keep the stray. In hindsight, it may have saved the lives of the bush cats and maybe her life as well. We welcomed Mocha to our home as our old cat Felix had passed away a few months previous and our remaining 16 year old Persian female, Dusty, seemed lonely.
Our first sign of trouble from Mocha was the instant and incessant howling and dragging herself around the house as if she’d had her hind quarters run over. We’d seen cats in heat before but this went on for over two weeks and we couldn’t sleep. It became evident why the previous owner had done the nasty deed of dropping her off at an unsuspecting household.
This cat had to go to the vet’s office — and fast. As soon as we were uncomfortably encased in our Hazmat suits, we prepared to load the afflicted Siamese into the pet carrier. She called upon her demons from below and we lost track of time and space. When we came to, she was miraculously in the cage and our memories had been wiped clean – although our Hazmat suits had to be thrown away. And I thought only the creature in the movie Aliens could puke up battery acid like that! Or was that partially digested, green cat chow sprayed everywhere as her head spun about in full circles? We weren’t sure because, like I said, we must have had our memories wiped.
We have an awesome vet with the patience of a saint and fortunately, a good sense of humour. Mocha did not seem to mind being examined, even when the “I’m being violated” part happened. She actually seemed to enjoy it which, in hindsight, was really quite creepy.
“Soooo,” the doctor said in a serious tone, “your cat has a full blown case of nymphomania.”
“What!?” I cried. “I thought nymphomania was a lifestyle choice, not a disease!”
“Not in cats, particularly Siamese. She will need to be spayed if you want her to settle down.” The doctor was not kidding. Holy cats in H. E. double hockey sticks, Mocha was going to need surgery. Lucky for her, she was an attractive cat plus we had hopes that once the doctor opened her up for spaying, the demon trapped inside would escape her body and beeline for another vessel. Yes! An exorcism! That was the ticket!
One week later — surgery done — cat comes home and must wear cone on head to stop licking of stitches. Yikes! Fortunately for me, I was away on a trip to visit family (funny how those things work out) and poor Al had to do the deed. He proceeded to peel Mocha off the top of the curtain rod, taking note that the wailing was actually not quite as bad as it had been before (the cat’s wailing, not his – he was still in fear of his life). He deposited her on his lap and slipped the cone on her head. The instant shrill screaming in his ears could only have been the howling of the gates of hell as they slid open to release the devil into our living room.
A brown and tan entity wearing a tiny, white Victrola phonograph-style cone appeared to be levitating sporadically then flinging back and forth from one wall to another and then from ceiling to floor and back again. Al was beginning to feel tiny rivulets of blood seeping through his jeans from the gouges on his legs caused by her launch. Suddenly a cream-colored piece of trim from a doorway sailed past his head, the protruding finishing nails narrowly missing an eye.
He was torn between making a desperate, panicked exit from the house and throwing himself on the manic Mocha to stop the rampage. Wanting to save our home and being a forgiving and patient animal lover of all sorts, he chose the latter and lunged at the crazed cat, who at this time, was doing the crab walk on the ceiling. It was indeed a horror movie. He wrestled her to the floor and pulled the cone off her head.
And sweet-as-pie Mocha appeared. She seemed to have forgotten who actually put the cone on her head in the first place and adopted Al from that day as the one who saved her from being dragged back through the gates of hell. He is not allowed to sit on the couch to watch TV unless she is crammed up underneath his chin, soaking his t-shirts with happy drool or tucked neatly on her butt under his arm while she picks the channels to watch – usually Animal Planet or reruns of The Twilight Zone.
Post-surgery, Mocha’s incessant wailing had stopped and she had become almost normal. But we learned to always be on guard that a demon, less violent but a demon nonetheless, still inhabited her tiny body. She will be lying quietly like a baby in Al’s aching arms (aching because he’s not allowed to move), supposedly sound asleep as she got bored with television, but then we will notice a tiny twitch in her tail.
Next, an eerie hum starts low in her throat and the tail begins twitching faster. Help Al’s soul if we happen to not notice. If he doesn’t remove her from his lap instantly, an eruption happens resulting in a ridiculous and horrifying combination of teeth and claws flashing and man hands desperately warding off the attack. An unexpected and unprovoked phenomenon for sure but strangely, the two of them still seem to have an understanding and a close cat/man relationship. Al can’t stay mad at her for long. It’s her depth of affection she doles out in scant rations to us and her unique cuteness that seems to outweigh what we should fear from this crazy feline.
And where has Dusty, our old cat, been throughout this evil transition in our formerly peaceful household? She has learned to either: a) be very, very quiet and hide during the times the entity possesses the house or; b) bring out all her scrappy barnyard wisdom and smack Mocha back into civilization. Being 16 years of age and sporting brittle bones, she usually chose a) however we applauded and supported the occasional b) choice. Mocha has learned, for the most part, to respect Dusty, the ancient matriarch of the cat kingdom on our farm.
And what about me? Where do I fit in now? Mocha is insanely jealous of Al showing me any affection and goes out of her way to destroy anything he gives me – such as a bouquet of flowers. I had begun to believe she was a reincarnated, revengeful old girlfriend of his and we were living in our own nightmare version of Fatal Attraction.
Mocha got busted last week. She was up on the kitchen counter, checking to make sure no one was behind her and then proceeding to shred the carnations he had brought home for me. Al suspected she was up to no good and he hid around the corner with the camera. She didn’t care. The really freaky thing about Mocha is, if you do catch her doing something naughty, she shows no remorse and will actually stand up on her back legs and box her front paws at you as if to say “Bring it on loser – let’s see what you’ve got!”
And we laugh. We know. We are encouraging bad behaviour but sometimes you just have to pick your battles. And don’t forget that she knows where we sleep.
Her one concession toward me is that I am allowed to sleep in the fetal position while she tucks herself behind my knees. But I can’t move – at least not until she decides she’s had enough shut-eye and wants to go outside at 2 a.m. Then I have to get up, stumble to the deck door and let her out or else there is H. E. Double Hockey Sticks to pay once again. We love Mocha, we have learned how to interpret her moods and behave accordingly but this is also why we are both always sleeping with one eye open. Forever on alert…….
Sigh. The things we do for our pets! Anyone want their cat back?
Mocha controls remote © Wanda Lambeth. All Rights Reserved.
Okay, no one is looking © Al Lambeth. All Rights Reserved.
These must be destroyed. Darn, busted. © Al Lambeth. All rights Reserved.